One of the biggest complaints that our guests have when they first come to us, is trouble sleeping. It’s no surprise since almost a third of the population experiences problems with sleep. Quality sleep is a pillar of good health, so here are five strategies to help promote good quality sleep…
1. Regular meditation
There’s no doubt that it works. Research has shown that regular meditation helps improve sleep latency, total sleep time, sleep efficiency, and sleep quality. It’s even been shown to naturally increase melatonin levels! From a personal perspective, prior to meditating, Kevin suffered from severe sleep disturbance due to chronic nightmares. Within a few short works of dedicated meditation, they completely disappeared and he has slept soundly ever since. Now it’s just a question of how serious you are about sleeping well…If you’re motivated enough, you can wind anything into your wellbeing routine.
2. Sleep hygiene
a) Institute a digital detox at least an hour before bed. A common cause of insomnia is the blue light from technological devices which inhibits the sleep hormone, melatonin. This includes TV, laptops, tablets, and smartphones!
b) Dim your lights before bed for the same reason. We use candles in the bathroom while brushing teeth, and in the bedroom while hopping into bed.
c) Avoid stimulants at night time. This includes work, caffeine, intense reading material, and conversations that have the propensity to rile you up.
d) Have a warm bath or shower just before you get into bed. As your increased body temperature begins to lower again, it signals the production of melatonin in your brain which helps induce sleep.
3. Sleep Schedule
Get into a healthy sleep routine. Going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time each day will help to keep your body clock in rhythm and promote your natural drive to sleep. Adults function optimally with between 7-9 hours a night so work out what’s ideal for you.
4. Digest the Day
Just like we digest the food that we eat, it’s just as important for us to digest the experiences that we consume each day. Setting time aside to systematically process your behaviours, thoughts, and emotions from the day, BEFORE you get into bed ensures that your mind doesn’t spend valuable sleep time attempting to do it then. Whether you prefer to simply scan the days events in your mind, or actually write them down, is up to you.
5. Sleep tactics
When all else fails, it’s useful to have some actual tactics up your sleeve to help trigger your body into the relaxation response and lull you to sleep. Spending a good five minutes doing your belly breathing or a simple body scan (both from the Calm sequence) will do just the trick!